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Pricing rods for customers
Posted by: Chuck Brezen (70.97.209.---)
Date: November 29, 2019 07:16PM

I’ve decided to take the plunge and have set up a new business selling my rods. Can any of you share any criteria you use for setting up your pricing structures? I’ve given rods as gifts many times and want to keep the two separate. No cutting prices for some but not for others. Do some of you use a flat fee plus material or a rough % of final cost? Not sure how I want to proceed and want to set it up right the first time. Thank you all for any input and guidance.


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Re: Pricing rods for customers
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: November 29, 2019 07:33PM

Price your rods at whatever the market will bear in your area. Assuming you build a good rod, price them so you occasionally have someone that will not pay that price. If you sell everyone - you're not charging enough. If you sell no one, you're not charging enough.

Perhaps start with your cost (and factor in for supplies such as solvents, paper towels, sandpaper, etc. - maybe $10 to $15 per rod) and then add $150 for yourself and see what happens.

Pricing is a difficult thing to arrive at and will take some time for you to learn your local market's demand and ability or desire to pay.


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Re: Pricing rods for customers
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 30, 2019 12:14PM

First of all, I only build fly rods, so my comments only apply to that section of the market. Secondly, I am not trying to compete with commercial rods, mine are very individual, usually including custom grips using exotic woods.

I compile all my out of pocket costs (paying wholesale, but charging retail) then estimate the time for the build and charge it @ $100.00 per hour. The exotic grips are priced separately due to the material costs and complexity. I sell a lot of grips to those who build their own.

If someone wants to negotiate the price, I send then to Walmart!

This may not be very helpful, as I acknowledge I am at the high end of a market.

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Re: Pricing rods for customers
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 30, 2019 12:43PM

Unless you are producing on a mass quantity then you really aren't going to make money off this endeavor. You will need to come up with some kind of compromise if a rod gets broken. Professional anglers like tournament fishermen and guides will break a lot of rods so you may not want to even market to them. The way I see it is that we can make a rod that cannot be bought in a typical sporting goods store. Phill is totally correct about catering to the "high end" market. That is why it is truly a custom rod. You need to ask yourself; Is it a hobby or a business? You may be able to recover a little of the funds if it is a hobby but if it is a business you have no choice but to be successful.

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Re: Pricing rods for customers
Posted by: Chuck Brezen (70.97.209.---)
Date: November 30, 2019 01:55PM

I appreciate the feedback. Do any of you have a worksheet you use? I saw Tom had one but I can’t locate it after several tries? You can email me if you want as well. Trying to make sure I have the right tools from the start. Also, I live in the upper Midwest and will primarily be bass, walleye and panfish rods. Both open and ice rods. Thanks again!


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